By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
In what may seem very unusual, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide, led by Barr. Oweilaemi Roland Pereotubor on Friday, January 5 called on security agencies particularly the Joint Task Force codenamed “Operation Delta Safe” to step up efforts at mopping and ridding the riverine communities in Delta and Bayelsa States of criminal elements.
In a statement signed and made available to newsmen, the IYC President, however, appealed to the military to avoid a repeat of previous experiences where the communities were made the scapegoats.
“No community in any of the affected areas should be harassed or invaded by the law enforcement agencies.”
“In case the military attacks any of the hideouts by the criminals, the nearby communities should be protected from its onslaught.”
According to the IYC,”The military should strictly abide by the rules of engagement. In the event that the hoodlums run into any civil populace, then the security men should be courteous in their action in order not to jeopardize the unarmed and defenseless communities.”
The IYC claimed that the Riverine communities are under siege of some criminal elements, saying the level of crime has reached an alarming rate.
It specifically said Ramos and Forcados Rivers both in Bayelsa and Delta States were seriously affected by criminal activities.
While noting that the situation calls for concerted efforts by all the security architectures in the affected States to rid the creeks of criminality, the IYC said,”Every law-abiding citizen including the security agencies are becoming victims of the menace.”
The IYC further advised the affected communities to synergize efforts with the security agencies to police the creeks.
“The communities should provide useful information to the security bodies for the tracking of these men of under world.”
The IYC said the Governments’ of Bayelsa and Delta States should adequately respond to the worsening security situation in the areas.